One of the premier tournaments of the season took place over the weekend in Kansas City with the Triple Crown National Invitational Tournament. The event which normally takes place in February was shifted to May due to the pandemic. This affected some of the teams who would participate and almost the whole 18-year-old division. Nonetheless, there was some great volleyball on display. We didn’t get to capture most of it due to the shift in video vendors for this tournament but we were able to capture bits and pieces from our connections. With that said, we don’t have a ton of player highlights but here are the Missouri/Kansas teams and how they fared over the three-day tournament.
Let us start off with how the tournament operates. A select number of teams enter the tournament in the “Elite” category. These teams open up day 1 in power pools playing some of the other top teams in the country. After Day 1, these teams stay in the elite brackets and play for seeding for bracket play. The other teams start off in the challenge pools on Day 1 and compete to enter the elite side of play by winning their pool. The remaining team goes to the Open or Club pools.
There were a handful of teams who started off the tournament in the Power Pools. Dynasty 15 Black is the headliner after a dominating qualifier season. They ran the table on the first day. Rockwood Thunder 15 Elite has also had a strong spring, triple qualifying this year. They went 2-1 in the power pools, losing to a strong Madfrogs team in three sets. Mavs KC 15-1 rounded out Missouri teams in the power pools but finished 0-3. In the challenge rounds, Rockwood Thunder 15 Navy went 3-0 only dropping one set. Mizuno Club North 15-1 had a 2-1 day in pool play. Dynasty 15 Blue was in a three-team pool and went 1-1. This sent them to a challenge match, which they dropped. This loss forced them to the Open Pools joining Club North, Mavs KC 15-2, and KC Power 15 Red. PVA 15 Elite lost all three matches to start the tournament and went to the Club pools for day 2.
All three Power Pool teams started Day 2 bracket play with victories. Top-seeded Dynasty 15 Black beat Adversity in two sets. Rockwood Thunder 15 Elite defeated UPVBC, including a dominating 25-12 second set. Mavs KC 15-1, who had a tough day 1 bounced back to beat CVC 15 Black. Rockwood Thunder 15 Navy joined the Elite brackets after running the table on day 1. They took on Elevation Chicas but lost a tough three-set battle. Later in the evening, Dynasty kept their winning streak going taking down Excel 15 Red 25-19, 25-16. They would be the sole Missouri/Kansas team to win this round to keep their hopes for an Elite Division title alive. Rockwood Thunder 15 Elite suffered a tough three-set defeat at the hands of Alamo 15 Premier, with a 15-13 final set. Mavs KC 15-1 would drop their match to the eventual champion, Madfrog 15 Green. Dynasty 15 Black would move on to the semifinals, knocking out Alamo. In the Elite 9th grade bracket round, Rockwood Thunder 15 Elite recovered to beat Excel in two while Mavs KC 15-1 lost in two to Capitianas 15-1. For the Elite 17th Place round, Rockwood Thunder 15 Navy dropped the first match against OVA 15 Black but they did when their final match of the day in the 25th place bracket over Legacy.
Back to the Pools, all coverage teams ran the table except for Mavs KC 15-2. Because they, along with Club North 15-1 were in three-team pools, they had to face off in a crossover match. The match was a back and forth with Mavs winning the third set 15-13. This set the table for the Open Championship pools for Monday. KC Power 15 Red dropped the first match of the day to Arizona Storm. Mavs KC 15-2 defeated another local foe in Dynasty 15 Blue to reach the semifinals, where they would fall short to Academy 15E Venom. Club North’s loss sends them to the Open 9th place bracket where they defeated Legacy 15-2 in the semifinal match 25-22, 25-19. This put them in the 9th place match against FC Elite 15 Navy. They got out to a fast start in set one, winning it in commanding fashion 25-14. FC Elite returned the favor in the second set, running away 25-18. The final set was back and forth action in which Elite pushed the right buttons late to grab the win 15-12. PVA 15 Elite found themselves in the Club Bracket but went down in the first match in three sets.
In the Elite rounds on Monday, Rockwood Thunder 15 Navy won their two matches to take home 25th place. Mavs KC 15-1 played in the 13th place bracket and went down to OT 15 Randy for a 15th place finish. Rockwood Thunder 15 Elite took care of business on the final day to walk away with 9th place in this loaded field. Dynasty 15 Black took on a familiar foe in Premier Nebraska 15 Gold. Dynasty grabbed the first set in this tight match-up. Premier bounced back to win the close second set. The third set was back and forth with both teams having short runs but Premier did just enough to win 15-13. Dynasty would finish 4th after losing the 3rd place match to NKYVC 15 Tsunami 27-25, 25-20.